A beaming Billy Barr praised his young side as they confidently dismantled Nottingham Forest in the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup on Tuesday night at Ewood Park.
A Jack Vale hat-trick and strikes from captain Hayden Carter and substitute Kyle Connell resulted in an excellent display from the young Rovers in the big 5-1 win against Forest.
And after taking a while to get going, Barr was delighted with how his side grew into the game at a chilly Ewood Park.
“You never know what the opposition will bring. We’ve looked at them and things do change. We’ve changed certain parts of our play at times," he admitted after the game.
“They started really well, pressed us and didn’t allow our way of playing. It took us a while to get to grips with it. Hayden [Carter] scoring on the half hour mark was a set piece they were awful at yesterday!
“Myself and Mike [Sheron] could have had a go at them about it in training yesterday, but we decided to leave it be and thankfully it’s come to fruition tonight."
At times it was the Vale show and in truth, the Welshman could have had a couple more goals on the night.
But a hat-trick will have to do and Barr praised his frontman for a really accomplished performance.
“Jack can play anywhere. He’s just a good footballer and carries a threat with his pace. He’s someone we think a lot off and we really hope this gives him confidence, because believe it or not, he's someone who does lack that confidence.
“He’s had a rocky journey with us but we really think a lot of him and think he’s done well as a first year," he added.
“We’ve got under-16s on the pitch today who did really well. Sam Burns comes on and we think he’s going to get a goal but it’s taken off his foot late on.
“We’re proud of the Category One status and thankfully the club backed us with it. Blackpool in the next round will be difficult. I watched them in the last round and we’ll be in for a hard night.
“More fans at Ewood would be great in the next round, and I thought it was special for our Under-8s to lead the teams out tonight. We can say to them that it was the likes of John Buckley and Jack Evans who were doing that only a few years ago."